Baptism: restoration and purification for all

Originally appeared on

Most Christians think of baptism as having its origins as a Christian rite. Yet John the Baptist, for whom the rite is named, was most certainly a Jew and was following a well-established Jewish practice.

This important Hebrew act of immersion in water, to signify purification, is given considerable coverage in the four Gospels. Further, it is the opening story in both the books of Mark and John. This is a clear indication of the importance the writers gave to this act of purifying immersion. In fact, that’s where John the Baptist got his name. The Greek word for the act of dunking or dipping is baptizo from which we get the Englishbaptize.

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